Progress on an $85 million project to add HOV lanes to the Loop 202 Santan Freeway will begin to impact the Ahwatukee Foothills area early next month, when transportation crews commence work on the Interstate 10 interchange.

The total project calls for adding 12 miles of new carpool lanes in each direction on Loop 202 between I-10 and Gilbert Road. Preliminary work began this month, and the project is expected to last two years, according to Doug Nintzel, an Arizona Department of Transportation spokesman. The upcoming local work is meant to connect the HOV lanes on I-10 to those on Loop 202, Nintzel said.

Eastbound Loop 202 - where Pecos Road connects to the freeway - is scheduled to close from 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, until 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, to accommodate the work. Drivers who normally would go east on Loop 202 from Pecos Road should consider using eastbound Ray Road to southbound Kyrene Road to connect with the Santan Freeway, Nintzel said.

The widening project's first phase began earlier this month, when crews began preparing to add HOV lanes to the segment between Loop 101 and Gilbert Road in the Chandler area.

This project is funded through the Maricopa Association of Governments' Regional Transportation Plan, approved by Maricopa County voters in 2004. MAG is responsible for planning and scheduling freeway projects around the metro Phoenix region.

The new lanes will be open to carpoolers, Valley Metro buses, eligible alternate fuel vehicles, motorcycles and emergency vehicles during the restricted weekday rush hours of 6 to 9 a.m., and 3 to 7 p.m. The lanes will be open to all vehicles during off-peak hours, including weekends.

ADOT has added more than 50 miles of HOV lanes along the Phoenix area freeway system since 2008. Ahwatukee area residents and businesses can stay updated on the Loop 202 project via ADOT's website, www.azdot.gov.

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